Mobile Website Design for Libraries


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This presentation, given by Steve Butzel at the 2012 Connecticut Library Association conference, covers trends in mobile website design and possibilities for libraries. Library apps are critically reviewed while simpler, less expensive mobile website techniques are favored.

In addition, Steve discusses his Online Newsstand Project which improves access to library database content.

Steve Butzel, Assistant Director of the Portsmouth Public Library, Portsmouth, NH

Published in: Technology, Design
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Mobile Website Design for Libraries

  1. 1. Serving Library Patrons in the Mobile Space Steve Butzel Portsmouth Public Library
  2. 2. “Imitate, Assimilate, Innovate” Steve Butzel Portsmouth Public Library
  3. 3. Mobile & Smartphone Stats Two in five cell owners (42%) own a smartphone as of May 2011* Since 83% of Americans own some kind of mobile phone, this means that one-third of all American adults (35%) are smartphone owners.* Morgan Stanley analysts predict that the mobile web will be bigger than desktop Internet usage by 2015 * Information taken from 2011 Pew Internet and American Life study, “Smartphone Adoption & Usage”
  4. 4. Quick, easy access to information…
  5. 5. What do our patrons want in the mobile space?
  6. 6. When does the library open or close?
  7. 7. When is story hour today?
  8. 8. New arrivalsDoes my library have these?
  9. 9. Back to our users…they’re busy.Really busy. So keep your mobile site simple!
  10. 10. Apps
  11. 11.
  12. 12. But can we do better?
  13. 13. What are other trends in mobile webpage design?
  14. 14. What seem to be the trends? A branded banner image A good attention grabbing visual Some interactivity, transactions Easy navigation Ties to Social Networking Sites Automatically hide the address bar  <body onload="setTimeout(function() { window.scrollTo(0, 1) }, 100);"></body>
  15. 15. Other possibilities
  16. 16. Gamification
  17. 17. Gamification
  18. 18. What do you think?
  19. 19. Some technical stuff (Thanks Brian) Auto-Detect & Redirect Options Testing on multiple devices Tracking statistics
  20. 20. Auto-Detect & Redirect: Options CSS (like Canton Public Library)  Bestmethod, but most takes the most work to implement Javascript  Runs in patron’s browser, so not totally reliable PHP & ASP  Runs on the server, so better than javascript
  21. 21. Auto-Detect & Redirect: PHP Download their main script to your webserver2. Use their Function Generator to build the code for your main website homepage3. Edit your .htaccess to allow .html files to run PHP code4. Their FAQ explains everything
  22. 22. Auto-Detect & Redirect  But just in case…Failsafe Link
  23. 23. Test, Test, Test, Test, Test Try your new mobile site out on as many different phones you can find Online phone emulators    Firefox User Agent Switcher 
  24. 24. Tracking Usage Stats What to look for  Overall usage  Visitor location Devices used …all the usual stats
  25. 25. Tracking Usage Stats: Overall Use
  26. 26. Tracking Usage Stats: Location
  27. 27. Tracking Usage Stats: Devices
  28. 28. Other Good Web Resources One Pager, ( Jakob Nielsen, “Mobile Site vs. Full Site” ( “Why We Shouldn’t Make Separate Mobile Websites” ( make-separate-mobile-websites/)
  29. 29. Online Newsstand Project
  30. 30. Participating Libraries
  31. 31. Participating Libraries
  32. 32. Online Newsstand Project - Gale
  33. 33. Thank You! @sbutzel (rarely) 603-766-1711 Brian Herzog, My colleagues: Jennifer Moore, Kim McKee, Heather Armitage, Barbara Bourgoine